Sustainable energy concerns answered at Saudi smart grid conference

Prince Dr. Bandar Al-Saud inaugurates the seventh Saudi Arabia Smart Grid conference. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 14 December 2017
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Sustainable energy concerns answered at Saudi smart grid conference

JEDDAH: The seventh Saudi Arabia Smart Grid (SASG) conference was convened on Wednesday at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel with a focus on “smart solutions for sustainable energy.”
The conference commenced with words from Deputy Minister for Energy Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji; the governor of the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), Dr. Abdullah Al-Shehri; Saudi Aramco’s director of energy systems engineering Abdulhamid Al-Omair; in the presence of Prince Dr. Bandar Al-Saud, assistant to the minister of interior for technology affairs.
Al-Shehri told Arab News: “The ECRA released regulations on uses of small solar panels in houses and residential facilities, and gave the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) until next June to prepare equipment and meet specific requirements to ensure that the quality of solar panels meets these regulations.
“Currently, the SEC and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy are working on a program for contractors to pass as qualified installers of roof solar panels,” he added.
Abdullah Al-Bishi, distribution services executive director at the SEC, said: “Once a contractor has installed solar panels at houses, malls and mosques, the SEC’s role is to test the product and ensure it’s of sound quality and merges with the electricity grid. The consumer can then use solar energy along with electricity, and any excess electrical energy can be sold back to the SEC. This will be implemented by July 2018.”
The chairman of the organizing committee of SASG, Bandar Allaf, met with Arab News and expressed great enthusiasm regarding this year’s conference.
“We’ve seen interest from more than 33 countries; there are almost 70 global exhibitors in this hall right now. Yesterday, we received more than 1,500 people who showed interest in the preconference workshops. Besides that, we have a very important session, ‘Women in Power,’ where we’ll listen to international and local experiences, best practices, successful stories for the Saudi engineers engaged in the energy sector. We’ll listen to the difficulties they’ve faced and their recommendations for a better work environment for women in this field.”
To commemorate the focus on the session, Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji spoke about female empowerment in the field: “The female contributors are plentiful and there will be even more opportunities for women in smart grid and renewable energy sectors; we’re fully focused on creating these opportunities at the moment.”
In Saudi Aramco’s booth, participants witnessed the work of a robotic cleaning device to rid solar panels of dust, which had been the main concern for those who are embarking on installing roof solar panels.
 


Al-Jubeir:  Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, said Saudi Arabia's foreign minister. (AFP)
Updated 56 min 21 sec ago
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Al-Jubeir:  Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

  • Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, says Saudi FM
  • Al-Jubeir: Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition is working with UN envoy Martin Griffith to reach a political solution to the conflict in Yemen based on UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of Yemeni national dialogue, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday. 

“Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, and the solution should lead to the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen,” said Adel Al-Jubeir.

“We support a peaceful solution in Yemen. We support the efforts of the UN envoy for the Yemeni cause,” he added.

“We are committed to providing all humanitarian support to our brothers there. We are also working on the post-war reconstruction of Yemen.” The Kingdom supports the envoy’s efforts to hold negotiations at the end of November, added Al-Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict, he said.

In contrast, Houthi militias are imposing restrictions on Yemeni cities and villages, leading to starvation, he added. 

They are also seizing humanitarian aid and preventing Yemenis from getting cholera vaccinations, Al-Jubeir said. 

The Houthis fire ballistic missiles indiscriminately at Saudi Arabia, use children as fighters and plant mines across Yemen, he added. 

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, he said.

Saudi Arabia did not want the conflict in Yemen; it was imposed on the Kingdom, Al-Jubeir added. 

Saudi Arabia worked with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to develop the Gulf Initiative. 

This led to a transition from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the internationally recognized government headed by current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Kingdom also worked to develop Yemeni national dialogue that led to a Yemeni vision regarding the country’s future.

A new Yemeni constitution was about to be drafted when the Houthis seized much of the country, including the capital. 

Yemen’s legitimate government requested support, and the Saudi-led coalition responded under Article 51 of the UN Charter.